Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Packing Heat

An on-duty police officer carrying a gun on his person has an awesome responsibility, but obviously that goes with the job. And, the handgun is nothing more than one of the tools on his tool belt to be deployed judiciously. But, what about when you are off-duty? Some law enforcement agencies require their officers to be armed when not at work and others don’t. It is one thing to carry a handgun in a holster attached to a sturdy belt in plain view of the public and quite another to keep one secreted from sight when not in uniform. Carrying a gun while off-duty engenders a quality of being on-duty at all times. It reinforces the habit of always watching and evaluating. Quite frankly, carrying a gun off-duty is a giant, dangerous, pain in the ass.

How so you ask? When you are off-duty, or as an under-cover officer, the last thing that you want is for crooks and the public to know that you are a law enforcement officer. You generally do not want to get involved in uniform officer police functions. To that end, keeping the gun hidden is of primary importance. To not do so telegraphs to the crooks who you are, and in a lethal situation it may well direct attention to you and spoil any element of surprise that you want to maintain. Secondly, the public spotting a gun on you will probably cause you to get jacked-up by on-duty officers.

I do a pretty good job of keeping my handgun hidden. I don’t think that my young grandchildren have a clue that I am generally armed in public. And, if they noticed a bulge under my clothing or knew of the gun’s existence, they’d say something about it. Nevertheless, I once screwed up in a favorite restaurant. Fortunately, the responding officers recognized me, which kept me from getting yanked out of the restaurant. Since I am a covert officer, my identity was nevertheless unfortunately disclosed to restaurant personnel, and I am no longer able to frequent the restaurant.

After 28 years of law enforcement, I’ll admit that I’ve started to become a little lax about maintaining my habit of always being armed in public. Hiding a gun while wearing shorts and a t-shirt is a problem. And, it feels so good to be just like the general public. Thank goodness in February 2007 that officer Ken Hammond of Ogden, Utah, was not succumbing to laziness when he and his wife were dining in a shopping mall in Salt Lake City.

An off-duty police officer having an early Valentine's Day dinner with his wife was credited Tuesday with helping stop a rampage in a crowded shopping mall by an 18-year-old gunman who killed five people before he was cut down.

Ken Hammond, an off-duty officer from Ogden, north of Salt Lake City, jumped up from his seat at a restaurant after hearing gunfire and cornered the gunman, exchanging fire with him until other officers arrived…

Here’s a problem that you probably have not considered. You are an on-duty police officer responding to a shots fired call with people down in a shopping mall. You arrive and see two people, each in plain clothes, exchanging gunfire. Who is the bad guy, and who is the good guy? Maybe they are both bad guys. In 2001, Oakland, CA, officers responding to a call killed one of their own narcotics officers.

While not in-frequent, the number of events involving the necessity of off-duty officers to get involved in dangerous situations is relatively small. But, when it happens…

Just who is this Salt Lake City shooter, and why did this guy start shooting people?

A day after the shooting, investigators struggled to figure out why a trench-coated Sulejmen Talovic opened fire on shoppers with a supremely calm look on his face.

There are two clues here for you to answer the question as to whom and why: the shooter’s name; and “a supremely calm look on his face.” Answer, he’s a Bosnian Muslim. But, did he go berserk, or was he on jihad? Was this a case of Sudden Jihad Syndrome?

The Sulejmen Talovic incident may not be adjudged to be a jihadist case. Nevertheless, the U.S. will begin to suffer from more jihadist attacks in the future. That’s why an extremely knowledgeable law enforcement trainer on Islamo-fascism recently counseled law enforcement officers to always remain armed when off-duty. That’s been my custom, but I’m sure getting tired of it.

Do sheepdogs ever have the luxury of being truly off-duty, and do they ever really retire? I am thinking about retirement, but I don’t think that I can ever return to being a sheep.

Links in this blog:
Off-Duty Cop Saved Lives In Mall
Oakland Police Rookies Kill Fellow Officer
Sulejmen Talovic
Sulejmen the Mysterious
On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs